“Now focus, ladies!!” the voice called over the loud music. Our fitness instructor, a very friendly but persistent lady, was encouraging us to balance on one foot while bending slowly down to touch the floor.
As we lifted one leg behind us, I heard the instructor call out, “focus on one spot on the floor!”. A few of the ladies started to laugh as they nearly toppled. Very quickly we realised that our ability to focus was the only way to do this particular exercise effectively. This recent incident reminded me of something…
About 18 years ago I had a lady speak prophetically to me. She told me that she had been given glimpse of my life. I was in a boat that was travelling through rough seas, just like the disciples and Jesus on the sea of Galilee. My (former) husband and I were in this boat and Jesus was there too. She told me to focus on Jesus in the boat and not on my marriage or my husband. She didn’t know why this was necessary to tell me but God had given it to her for me.
I didn’t learn to do this. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t ask God to help or show me what to do. I was tossed about in the storm and focusing entirely on my husband’s abuse, control, and anger instead of the God who could save. I was on rough waters and in treacherous conditions. I had no peace, no joy and it was breaking me instead of strengthening me. I did not know how to trust the Saviour who was with me the whole way.
While the eventual outcome may have ended up the same – a broken marriage – I would have come through with the faith and the lessons that God needed to teach me.
The lessons He was yet to teach me in the years to come, was this –
It is not whether you have no storms or big storms in life, or a bigger and better boat to get you through things in life. It is your focus – your focus on God.
Focus of your heart
Many people will say that they know God, many people will say that they are saved, but how does this effect you? You say that Christ is your Saviour, but how does this impact you as a person?
Our life as a Christian is not as some people imagine. It is not about whether we go through hard times or not that shows that God is with us. It is whether the life that you live shows that God is in you. It really doesn’t matter whether you have rough seas or smooth sailing, does God have your focus? Or is it just your momentary attention?
A lot of people can say they have faith in a God, a Creator, but what is your focus in the tough times of life?
You see, I am watching people around me focus on things in life that will fail simply because they were never designed to hold our focus or faith. It is like hoping that quicksand will hold you.
What happens if you focus on a bird flying by when you are chopping vegies? What happens if you look away while hammering a nail into a board? The same thing – pain or injury.
Focusing on God is the same, and we wonder at our injuries. It is the steely eyed focus on the fact that God is God. He is Saviour, He is everything, He is all. If He is God and there is no other then why do we look to something else as our focus in life?
What do I mean by focus on God? I mean simply this. What is it that you have your heart and desires set upon? What happens when you wobble in your faith?
Well, you say, I can’t see Him, feel Him or hear Him? How can you focus on something you cannot see? Yep, see, wrong focus. It is not about whether you can see something or not, it is where your heart is.
Recently, I had someone use a phrase to describe someone they knew. The person was ”kingdom minded”.
“Interesting,” I thought, “this person was about their Father’s business here on earth. Living, breathing, and focused on God.”
Why are you here and what are you trying to achieve? If the answer is “Going about my Father’s business” then you have your focus right.
I was just finishing off the dishes for the night and talking to God about a number of burdens on my heart. He gave me this scripture, so I went to look it up. It was Psalm 91. But I had never looked at this psalm with the “focus” thought in mind. (I will put the whole of Ps 91 at the end of the blog)
Take a look at these words found in this Psalm. “He alone..”, “He is…” He will…”.
Oh yes, now THIS is a person with a God focus!!
Your focus is where your heart is and you will focus on that which is important to your heart. You will go where your heart desires. That is why your heart and focus must have the same goal – God.
Whatever your situation in life (whatever your boat), whatever your waters – (whatever your journey), have you asked God to be with you and have you trust the God who knows the future and the journey.
Do you trust Him?
What does focusing on Christ look like for me now –
Praying more and reacting less. Trusting God to give me wisdom to handle the situation better. Being obedient to His instructions rather than doing things my way. Trusting my Saviour to be there even if I remained on the boat by myself with God.
Take a look at Psalm 91 again…Verses 4 and 5
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. (NLT)
Our focus is simply this trusting the One who is will us and will protect us, while our heart’s focus and love is on our Saviour.
I can’t trust God for you, I can’t refocus your vision, and I can’t tell you where the focus of your heart is. But God can. Go on… ask Him…and wait. I think God would be please with such a question.
Psalm 91 (NLT)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”